Notable Quotes from Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Aug 24, 2012

Jens Voigt (GER)

On Stage 4 and his win today:
“When the race first started this morning, I didn’t have any expectations. I just jumped in with my group, and then a few minutes later, I realized I was on top of it─ and could go a little faster. Five miles later, I almost felt like I had someone talking to me, saying ‘you can do this.’ When I got to Independence Pass, there were so many spectators cheering me on that I forgot the pain, and tried not to lose momentum on the descent. Then we hit the rain…which seemed to hurt everyone’s morale but mine! I also predicted that once the break was caught by the peloton, nature would follow its course. I got an extra minute, then six, and from then on the only thing that could stop me was a deer running into my bike! I started to raise my hopes, and even realized that I had enough time to slow down and enjoy it. I just soaked up the emotions from the crowd. It was a hard day, but a very happy day.”

On similar races:
“I feel like the Criterium International is very similar to this ride, which I’ve won four times. That ride was also split into shorter stages; sometimes we had split days or time trials. It was familiar to me; the varying heights, the rain…so I just realized that I could handle this.”

On winning despite his reputation as non-climber:
“What always kills me on the climb is a change of rhythm. But when I’m out there, and can relate that to a time trial, it centers me. I focus on finding my perfect time trial and try to pace myself in relation to my highest heart rate. Also, Independence Pass is not very long, but super steep, which is always easier.”

On his team’s reputation:
“I can always hear other teams talking about my team (RadioShack) and wondering why we don’t push for a big win. For the record, that’s not why I went on attack today. My goal was to look for something that makes sense. To put it in perspective, we would never have a ski competition against Lindsey Vonn. We would always try to win, but she’s just better. BMC Racing Team has Tejay Van Garderen and Garmin has Christian Van Velde, so it’s hard to compete. To go out in public and believe that we’re going to win this and reveal that intention is unnecessary. We are here to get a stage, and to hopefully get a place on the podium. Tejay looks really solid, so naturally it’s up to BMC to work a little more. “

On his popularity in America:
“I worked 20 years to get here! No, I do realize it started a few years ago, so I can tell that I’m popular in America. That’s why I keep coming back. I could have raced in Spain or Italy, but I chose to race in the U.S., and entertain people! I’m happy to have a win today and to be something other than the cyclist with the ‘funny comments.’ It’s very satisfying.”

On altitude for European riders:
“This is our second time in the Pro Challenge. Last year our team only came a few days before and we felt the difference. To prevent that situation, people recommended we come earlier, and try the Tour of Utah first to prep. It worked! We finally adapted to the altitude and everything’s fine. All it takes is an additional 10 days. Everyone knows the altitude is different, so my advice is to come here and know what to expect.”

On his humor and racing outlook:
“Who likes to cry? You try to find the positive aspect in everything, or in most things. It could be worse. I believe that the reason I have the attitude I do is because I’m happy with my life. I have the opportunity to turn my passion into my job. I don’t have a lot to complain about. I also just resigned with RadioShack-Nissan-Trek and I’m very happy about that.”

On how today’s win ranks in his career:
“First off, I like to win. I’m in the last stage of my career and this win makes me happy and gives me a little extra motivation. I can be confident that I was a vital part of the team. It gives me the confidence to say ‘I want one more year, I’m not done yet.’”

Tejay van Garderen (USA)
BMC Racing Team

On Jens Voigt’s win:
“Jens is the only guy in the world who could do this. He’s just that crazy! When we saw that break ahead and Jens going for it, we questioned him, but he pulled it off.”

On racing in his hometown:
“Incredible! It’s a huge honor for me to be in the leader’s jersey in my home state. I’ve lived here a long time now, and this is definitely home for me. I love being here, racing here and seeing the crowd.”

On his predictions on winning today:
“I was happy to be able to spend the day up here, but as far as the winning the yellow jersey, that’s not why I attacked. I did hope there would be some time gaps and could I gain a few seconds, but it’s still definitely cool to come up here and steal the Exergy Leader Jersey.”

On the Stage 6 finish in Boulder:
“I’m looking forward to racing in my hometown of Boulder. It would be nice to get a victory there. As far as that goes, it is more of a pure climb, and I don’t even know if I can stay on time.”

On George’s retirement:
“I don’t want him to retire. I want him to go another year, but I think he’s decided it’s done. It’s hard to believe. He’s such a great guy, such a great teammate. He brings so much with his positive attitude and talent. He’s really going to be missed.”

On Crested Butte and his time:
“At the moment, I didn’t even notice or care. It wasn’t until people kept telling me that I noticed there was a gap. The thing is, it’s done. If you dwell too much on the past, you’ll never focus on what’s in front on you. We still have the individual time trial and Flagstaff. From now on, I just think they’ll pay closer attention.”
On what riders to look out for in the final stages:
“Levi. He’s in good shape. He’s looking lean. He doesn’t have the strongest team here. My prediction is he’ll give it his all in Boulder. If he can get it on Flagstaff, he doesn’t have to rely on his team in the time trial. He’ll go for it.”